Cybersecurity Financial Sector Jobs: 7 Roles to Know About

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

From intelligence analysts to penetration testers, cybersecurity experts help safeguard confidential financial data. Discover seven different roles you could pursue if this field interests you.

[Featured Image] A penetration tester sits outdoors with a cup of coffee and uses her laptop to look for potential cybersecurity financial sector jobs.

Cybersecurity helps counter unauthorized access and criminal exploitation of interconnected data and devices in the digital sphere. At its core, cybersecurity upholds the confidentiality of sensitive information, maintains data integrity, and ensures the availability of critical resources.

But how does cybersecurity manifest within the finance industry? Keep reading to uncover cybersecurity positions and responsibilities that are pivotal in protecting monetary data.

Why is cybersecurity important in the finance industry?

Every facet of the financial sector grapples with significant cyberattacks, from traditional banks to emerging fintech startups. Phishing and social engineering are some of the more common ploys bad actors use to breach the networks of financial institutions. For example, global financial data breaches averaged nearly $6,000,000, ranking second to health care in 2022 [1].

Additionally, digitizing financial services is opening new avenues for cyber threats. For instance, the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies has led to an uptick in ransomware attacks, where hackers seek digital currencies as ransom to decrypt compromised data.

Maintaining a delicate balance between fostering innovation and mitigating cybersecurity risks is becoming increasingly vital as banks embrace digital transformation. 

Types of cybersecurity jobs in fintech 

Cybersecurity roles are varied. If you are contemplating a career in cybersecurity, the following list offers some notable job roles worth considering: 

1. Identity and access management architect

Average annual US salary:  $110,760 [2]

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar discipline and potentially some internship experience.

As an identity and access management architect, you can design security frameworks to shield computer systems against malware, among other cyberattacks. You might also contribute to firms’ security incident response process following a security breach. Additionally, you may conduct vulnerability testing and security assessments for new software and systems.

2. Cybersecurity engineer

Average annual US salary:  $119,575 [3]

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a closely related area of study and potentially some internship or work experience.

As a cybersecurity engineer, also known as an information security engineer, your responsibilities extend beyond designing and monitoring defensive systems. In this role, you may install, test, and configure networks. Furthermore, you could be involved in crafting training materials.

3. Cybersecurity incident responder

Average annual US salary: $49,246 [4]

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, or information assurance, as well as a potential general security certification.

The cybersecurity incident responder position requires you to promptly respond to security threats to restore affected services, minimize losses, and mitigate the risks of subsequent incidents. You may also act as a legal intermediary, connecting your organization with law enforcement, providing incident details, and facilitating potential legal actions as necessary. 

4. Penetration tester

Average annual US salary: $112,665 [5]

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer science or information security. Some employers may require a master’s in an area like business administration with an information systems concentration and some work experience or certifications.

As a penetration tester, you may execute authorized cyberattacks on your company's endpoint systems and networks to uncover hidden or overlooked security vulnerabilities. In addition to creating detailed reports that outline new-found security flaws, you may also provide recommendations to firms, aiding them in enhancing network security.

5.  IT security specialist

Average annual US salary: $131,329  [6]

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in information security or computer science. Some employers may require a master’s and some work experience or certification.

Taking on the information technology (IT) security specialist role will require you to actively monitor firms’ systems for any signs of intrusion. You will also take an active role in developing policies about reporting issues. You may also provide guidance and training to team members on identifying and addressing cybersecurity threats.

6. Intelligence analyst

Average annual US salary:  $108,328 [7]

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer science or a closely affiliated domain, as well as potential work or internship experience.

As an intelligence analyst, you may design filtering programs to spot potentially harmful communications and security vulnerabilities. Additionally, you may contribute to generating reports with strategic recommendations, facilitating a proactive defense against evolving and future cyber threats.

7. Cybersecurity consultant

Average annual US salary:  $123,604 [8]

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer science or an associated area of study, as well as potential work or internship experience.

The position of a cybersecurity consultant entails a comprehensive examination of a client or firm’s existing infrastructure, systems, and practices to identify potential points of compromise. You may also propose relevant and practical solutions to address any identified concerns. In this role, you may work independently on contracts or work for an organization.

Cybersecurity job outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 32 percent increase in cybersecurity employment between 2022 and 2032 [12]. The projection translates to an average of around 16,800 new job opportunities annually over the forecast period [12] and robust, above-average growth.

How to launch your cybersecurity financial sector career

The roadmap to starting a career in cybersecurity isn’t always linear. However, the following steps can serve as stepping stones: 

1. Education

While a degree is only sometimes required in cybersecurity, employers often favor professionals with cybersecurity degrees. If your school lacks a cybersecurity program, majoring in computer science or information systems is an excellent alternative. 

If you already possess a bachelor's degree or prefer a shorter or less-expensive commitment, a cybersecurity bootcamp is a viable option. Bootcamps often include intensive, full-time training sessions, enabling you to delve deeply into the subject matter and rapidly acquire in-demand skills.

2. Work experience

Industry experience provides you with a unique learning environment, allowing you to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world challenges. If you're switching careers, internships and volunteer roles are tangible pathways to gain relevant experience. 

3. Certification

By and large, cybersecurity employers like seeing certifications without mandating them as a requirement. However, securing a certification positions you as a credible and capable candidate for roles that demand a strong foundation in cybersecurity. This, in turn, offers you higher pay. 

The following list includes industry-recognized cybersecurity certifications you can aim for based on your career path:

1. CompTIA Security+

Offered by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the CompTIA Security+ certification attests to the foundational skills needed to execute core security functions and pursue a career in IT security.

Expected average base salary: $84,000 [9]

2.  CISM

The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification from ISACA equips you with the skills to evaluate risks, establish robust governance, and proactively address security incidents.

Expected average base salary: $137,000 [10]


The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential, provided by ISC2, is well-suited for experienced security practitioners, managers, and executives seeking to validate their expertise in diverse security practices and principles.

Expected average base salary: $127,000 [11]

Learn more with Coursera. 

Customers rely on the financial industry to protect the integrity of their data, which is at the heart of building trust-based relationships. Additionally, organizations and institutions in this sector operate under strict regulations. All of this underscores the crucial role cybersecurity serves in the financial industry. 

Strengthen your cybersecurity skills with the Foundations of Cybersecurity course, available on Coursera. Offered by Google, this course includes interactive videos and activities to help you prepare for an entry-level cybersecurity job. You can also continue to complete the Google Cybersecurity Professional Certificate, which will further deepen your skills and knowledge. 

Article sources


1. Statista. “Cyber crime and the financial industry in the United States - Statistics & Facts,” Accessed on March 5, 2024.

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